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Oral fluency and spoken grammar 2016

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A critical look at the role of grammar in speaking.

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Oral fluency and spoken grammar 2016

  1. 1. Fluency, Intelligibity, and Spoken Language (Week 3) ORAL I V (HE281) Prof. Dr. Ron Martinez drronmartinez@gmail.com
  2. 2. Goals for the week • Introduce and discuss the nature of oracy and spoken language in general
  3. 3. 3 types of fluency (Segalowitz, 2010) Cognitive Fluency Perceived Fluency Utterance Fluency
  4. 4. COGNITIVE FLUENCY UTTERANCE FLUENCY PERCEIVED FLUENCY
  5. 5. Levelt’s model of speech production • Conceptualization • Formulation • Articulation • Self-monitoring • - Levelt, W.J.M. (1989) Speaking: From Intention to Articulation Part of cognitive fluency
  6. 6. Fluency and the peculiarities of spoken language
  7. 7. Spoken vs. Written
  8. 8. Spoken vs. Written (cont.)
  9. 9. ‘Conversational Grammar’ (Carter & McCarthy, 2015) • non-sentence-based • much language is ‘freestanding’ • ‘co-constructed’ and highly interactive • ‘poses questions’ concerning metalanguage
  10. 10. ‘Non-sentence-based’: an extreme case
  11. 11. ‘metalanguage’ “Spoken grammar has, in many respects, come of age. However, problems remain. We are still struggling under the burden of a grammatical metalanguage inherited from writing that does not seem always to work for speaking, and many teaching resources have yet to reflect what everyday speaking is really like. Meanwhile, technology forces us to re- think the conventional spoken/written distinction.” (Carter & McCarthy, 2015, p. 8)
  12. 12. ‘Chunks’ and ‘the idiom principle’
  13. 13. What about teaching?
  14. 14. Carter and McCarthy (2015, pp. 3-4) “Henry Sweet’s (1899) work on the teaching and learning of languages stressed the principle of ‘starting from the spoken rather than the literary language’ (p. vii), rejecting the notion that speaking was a corruption of writing (p. 50). Sweet pointed to the paratactic nature of spoken utterances, noting the importance of phrases, (today’s chunks or clusters) which, he asserted, were neglected in pedagogy because they could not be brought within the purview of the conventional grammar rules (p. 121). However, he admitted that everyday conversation, with its characteristic ellipses and disconnectedness, if reproduced unedited, would be an unsuitable model for foreign language learners (p. 169). Conversely, he had harsh words for those who wrote unnatural-sounding dialogues for language learning (pp. 215–18). In his 1900 grammar, Sweet refers frequently to distinctions between the grammar of speaking and the grammar of writing…”
  15. 15. Homework • Go over the scripts from your classmates. Any evidence of the features discussed today? • Watch ‘Grammar Cops’ video (on class website). Do you think this was a good EFL teaching activity? Why (not)?
  16. 16. Today’s agenda • Explore some of the practical – especially pedagogical – implications of the theory presented and discussed regarding ‘spoken grammar’. • Will look at how technology has shaped the way we think about spoken and written language.
  17. 17. ‘metalanguage’ “Spoken grammar has, in many respects, come of age. However, problems remain. We are still struggling under the burden of a grammatical metalanguage inherited from writing that does not seem always to work for speaking, and many teaching resources have yet to reflect what everyday speaking is really like. Meanwhile, technology forces us to re- think the conventional spoken/written distinction.” (Carter & McCarthy, 2015, p. 8)
  18. 18. English Trivia! 1. What is the most common word in English? 2. What is the most common pronoun in English? 3. What are the three most common verbs in English?
  19. 19. COCA exercise 1. Look up the most common verbs in spoken English. Make a note of the first 5. 2. Choose at least one verb and make a note of interesting examples of how it is used. 3. Look up the most common verbs in academic English. Make a note of the first 5. 4. Choose at least one verb (it may be the same one) and note interesting examples of how it is used. 5. Generate a list of the most common adverbs in spoken English, and then another list for written. What differences do you notice? 6. Find one adverb that appears in both lists. Are they used in the same way? Make a note of some examples.
  20. 20. ‘metalanguage’ “Spoken grammar has, in many respects, come of age. However, problems remain. We are still struggling under the burden of a grammatical metalanguage inherited from writing that does not seem always to work for speaking, and many teaching resources have yet to reflect what everyday speaking is really like. Meanwhile, technology forces us to re- think the conventional spoken/written distinction.” (Carter & McCarthy, 2015, p. 8)
  21. 21. The “Grammar Cops” Activity
  22. 22. “Grammar Cops”
  23. 23. “Grammar Cops”: 1st viewing • You will watch the video twice. • 1st question: Do you think the students enjoyed the activity? Why?
  24. 24. “Grammar Cops”: 2nd viewing • Now watch again, and think of these two questions while watching: 1. What did you like about the activity? Anything you did not like? (You may use the worksheet.) 2. Reflecting on the Carter and McCarthy (2005) article you read, how reflective is the activity of current thinking?
  25. 25. “Grammar Cops”: 2nd viewing discussion Discuss in small groups for 10 minutes: 1. What did you like about the activity? Anything you did not like? (You may use the worksheet.) 2. Reflecting on the Carter and McCarthy (2005) article you read, how reflective is the activity of current thinking?
  26. 26. Language as choice
  27. 27. Homework • Choose a TED talk to watch and identify elements of spoken grammar. • Is the talk formal, informal, or both (or neither)?

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